Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Week Forty-Seven: Santa Claus

Whether you call him Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, or Sinterklaas, he is the ubiquitous symbol of the most celebrated Christian holiday of the year. Santa is jolly, flushed, exuberant, and rotund, a depiction made popular by the famous cartoonist Thomas Nast. We don't know about you, but he always brings a smile to our faces.

Here we have perhaps the most famous modern American depiction of Santa Claus painted by Haddon Sundblom for the Coca-Cola company. Building on Nast's image from the late 19th Century, Haddon capitalized on the color publication of the iconic Saturday Evening Post, with warm fire lit cheeks and light tufts of ivory fur and beard. Sundblom also painted another American character, the Quaker Oats Quaker, as modeled by Wilford Brimley.

So be sure to check back with us on Christmas for a special holiday treat. Merry Christmas!

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